AVON: LATIN EARNINGS STABLE

NEW YORK — Avon Products Inc., in an effort to assuage Wall Street’s jitters over Latin American currency fluctuations, said its 2001 earnings were not in jeopardy.
The company, expected to report first-quarter results today, said it could “meet or exceed” current full-year earnings estimates of $2.09 a share.
Andrea Jung, chief executive officer, noted in a statement that, operationally, Avon’s fundamentals are “the strongest they’ve been in years.” She added that should the Brazilian real decline a further 10 percent against the dollar and the Argentine peso fall 20 percent from its current level, Avon could still post a double-digit earnings increase from the $1.88 a share earned in 2000.
However, she noted: “We can’t be definitive because currencies haven’t settled and the long-term impact is not clear.
Shares of the direct seller of beauty products rose 61 cents, to close at $38.40 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

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